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  1. #1

    • Defying gravity
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    Lightbulb Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    I just went to WDW earlier this month. Since I though it would cost us more, we elected not to get the DP. When we got there, it seemed that everyone was using the DP!!! However, we had several people buy us food for free bc/ they were leaving the next day and couldn't use up all their snack coupons.

    This makes me wonder - is the DP worth the money? There are three of us - me and my parents. We don't eat at many table service restaurants and we don't eat breakfast as a full meal. Would the DP be worth it for us? About how much is it per day? And is it confusing to use (how do you determine what is an entree, what is a snack, etc.)? I've seen a lot of confusion/hold up at the check out line due to the DP.

    Any info you can provide me is much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2

    • Monorail Racer
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    I usually skip breakfast, too. There's a table service restaurant, snack and counter service coupon for each person per night's stay. It can save you a bunch of money over the course of your stay, but there may be some restaurants not covered in the plan. With an Annual Pass, you can purchase the Disney Dining Experience card (I believe it's $50 per year to sign up) and they'll mail it to you. Can't buy it in person, so you have to sign up and allow a few weeks for it to be delivered to your home. When you have that card, you can save 20% in A LOT of food locations. As a DVC member, you're probably going to have an AP, right? If so, I'd recommend signing up for the Disney Dining Experience (I believe you can just call the 1-800-W-Disney #) and save 20%. It pays for itself pretty quickly and works very well.
    Warning: Portions of this attraction are intense and may not be appropriate for younger children.

  3. #3

    • Minion
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    It was well worth it for 4 of us (wife, two kids and I) back in February. Spent roughly $600 to purchase the plan, bought roughly $650 worth of food and still had some snacks and sit-downs left over on the card! It also cut down on much of the hassle of deciding how to pay, and how much of a tip to leave. With the Dining Plan, you use your room card, plus gratuity is included for sit downs.

    Couple things...
    You say you don't eat breakfast as a full meal. That's fine. If memory serves me correctly, stuff like milk, cereal and fruit all count as snacks.
    You also say that you don't eat many table service meals. That in and of itself might make the Dining Plan not worth doing. If you change your mind about this and decide to do some sit downs, keep in mind that when you use the Dining Plan, you get a complete meal: one appetizer, one drink, one entree and one dessert are all included! This also works with character meals, which can get very expensive. If you're a light eater, this might not be worth it.

    As far as confusion, we never ran into any at the places we dined at. The only thing we ran into was that some of the machines at some of the snack carts didn't accept the dining plan for some reason. All of the CM's, however, were very clear on what counts as a snack etc.

    Hopefully these links will help you...
    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw...iningPkg06Page

    http://allearsnet.com/pl/packages06a.htm

    My advice: Do what we did and price your package with and without the Dining Plan. That will tell you what the Plan costs. Next, sit down and think about how much you might spend on food there. That will ultimately tell you if it's worth it or not.

    I would also do what MrCoaster said and check out the Dining Experience and how it compares to the Dining Plan!

  4. #4

    • Former CM
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    When we did the dining plan last Dec. it saved us a bunch of money. It was $35 per adult per night. The dining plan cost us $700, but if we would of paid for the meals we would of spent of $1200. The big savings are when you go to a table service/charater meal.

  5. #5

    • Drunk On Disney
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    There are at least two different plans: The Disney Dining Package and the Premium Package. I have only done the Premium so I can only vouch for that.

    It is expensive but can be very worthwhille if you do the following:
    -Make sure you arrive early your first day and leave late your last day. They give 3 coupons per day and you want to use them all.
    -Each meal you are given 1 appetizer, 1 entree and 1 desert per person. Make sure to order and TRY each of them. Even if you only have a bite at least you tried it.
    -Go to the most expensive restaurants you can. That is the best way to take advantage of it. My wife and I enjoyed several hundered dollars worth of lobster dinners at Fultons in DD by dining there almost every night. It sure beats an order of chicken fingers since the price is the same!
    -Take as many tours as you can. Yup, they are free with the Premium package! They usually cost around $50 and are awesome.
    -Do mini golf, fishing, horseback riding, etc. Lots of this stuff is included in the Premium package and can really make a trip interesting.
    -Keep track of your "coupons" I had a couple extra so I used them to sample a few dishes around Epcot.

    EDIT: Since they have more than one dining plan I am including THIS LINK to the Premium Package.
    Last edited by Guy Hutchinson; 06-22-2006 at 12:36 PM.

    Check out my podcast: www.drunkondisney.com

  6. #6

    • Internet.Serious Business
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    I've never found the dining plan worth it when I've gone, but for certain times of the year they give it away free with a hotel room...then by god it is wicked worth it.

  7. #7

    • Defying gravity
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    Thanks for all the info everyone!

  8. #8

    • Monorail Racer
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    The good thing is that there is no shortage of good restaurants to eat at in WDW.
    Warning: Portions of this attraction are intense and may not be appropriate for younger children.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb
    I've never found the dining plan worth it when I've gone, but for certain times of the year they give it away free with a hotel room...then by god it is wicked worth it.
    Just wondering when they do this kind of give away?

  10. #10

    • Bending Unit
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamlet Schmalzbach
    Just wondering when they do this kind of give away?
    Right NOW! You have 2 more days to book.

    http://www.mousesavers.com/packages.html#stayplay

    Sorry if I sound like an advertisement!

  11. #11

    • Kenny the Pirate
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamlet Schmalzbach
    Just wondering when they do this kind of give away?
    Aug 20 - End of Sept. But you must book by June 25th. They extended the deadline and took off the first week availability from the original offer. We're going 14-22. DP is only worth it if you make sure to book your sit downs in advance so you don't leave them "on the table"

  12. #12

    • Minion
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcoaster
    The good thing is that there is no shortage of good restaurants to eat at in WDW.
    You're not kidding there!

  13. #13

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    • Chicago Gal
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    I only book "room only" reservations, so they won't let me purchase the Dining Plan. For what I save with my AAA discount, I can afford to pay for my meals, and I still come out ahead.

  14. #14

    • Minion
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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann
    I only book "room only" reservations, so they won't let me purchase the Dining Plan. For what I save with my AAA discount, I can afford to pay for my meals, and I still come out ahead.
    Cool! There are so many ways to save going there. Always good to check every alternative.

  15. #15

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    Re: Is The Disney Dining Plan WORTH THE MONEY???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bender Rodriguez
    Right NOW! You have 2 more days to book.

    http://www.mousesavers.com/packages.html#stayplay

    Sorry if I sound like an advertisement!
    Thanks to all for the info. I will run it by the girlfriend and see what she says.

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